The University of Stirling, Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence, welcomed Dick Pound, one of the foremost authorities on anti-doping policy in the world, for a one-off public lecture on doping in sport.
The former Vice-President of the International Olympic Committee and founding President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) talked passionately on “The Big Sporting Question: doping in sport, is there a way forward?”.
He highlighted the need for whistle blowers to be better protected, claiming those who are willing to speak up are not welcomed by many sporting organisations.
“Certain sports need to admit there is a problem with doping but there is a huge amount of self-denial”, said Dick, “Once they admit that doping has taken place it looks bad for them - there will be severe consequences for their reputation as well as income from sponsorship.
“However, there must be a way forward for sport and I believe things are improving – the gap between sports cheating and detection continues to narrow. Education will also be key in order to change how athletes think about doping.”
Stressing the impact of not tackling doping he said: "If doping continues it will be impossible to encourage the next generation of athletes to compete. In the long run it's education that's going to provide the answer to doping in sport."
Dr Paul Dimeo of the University’s Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, was recently appointed Chair of USA Cycling’s Anti-Doping Committee and is examining athletes’ attitudes to the fairness of anti-doping programmes, to help better inform how they are designed and run.
Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Stirling, said: “We’re delighted the impact of our research is recognised and is contributing significantly to the debate on doping in sport.
“As Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence we prepare young athletes, who study and train with us, to compete at the highest level across the world. Dick Pound being on campus to share his expertise on an issue of such importance to sport is invaluable.”
The Scottish Government designated the University of Stirling as Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence in 2008. Our mission is to deliver the best for Scottish sport through the powerful and inspirational combination of sport and education. We are at the heart of Scottish sport, preparing athletes to perform on the world stage, enabling students to develop their skill sets for excellent careers and producing innovative research to improve the health of the nation. Our sport-centred campus brings together the people shaping Scottish sport, creating a critical mass of sporting expertise and excellence.